Al Quie endorses Horner; second former GOP gov to do soby Tom Scheck, Minnesota Public Radio,
Tim Pugmire, Minnesota Public Radio
St. Paul, Minn. — Former Republican Gov. Al Quie is backing Independence Party candidate Tom Horner for governor.
Quie is the second former Republican governor to announce his support for Horner's campaign. Arne Carlson is also backing Horner, instead of Republican candidate Tom Emmer.
Quie said in his announcement Thursday that he likes Horner's budget plan, his plan to improve the achievement gap in schools and his plan to invest in infrastructure.
Quie said Horner will do a better job for the state than Republican Tom Emmer or Democrat Mark Dayton.
"As I look at the candidates for governor, I look at their solutions, and I come down on the side of Tom Horner," said Quie.
State Republican Party chairman Tony Sutton is downplaying Quie's endorsement of Horner. Sutton says he respects Quie, and is disappointed by his decision -- adding that he thinks Quie and Carlson are not in step with voters in the state.
"Minnesotans don't want more taxes. They don't want more spending," said Sutton. "I think they represent a bygone era of the Republican Party, and this is a Republican Party that's talking about smaller government, lower taxes, less spending and more jobs."
Horner has been peeling away support from Emmer's Republican base. Several former legislators and at least one Republican mayor say they're backing Horner because they consider Emmer's budget plan "too extreme."
Tom Scheck covers politics and government for MPR News.